by Tom Utescher
If the race involved two laps of the track or less, it was owned by tenth-grade girls from local teams at the 2014 Pennsylvania Independent Schools track and field championships.
In last Wednesday’s meet at The Hill School in Pottstown, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Brooklyn Broadwater won the three dashes, the 100 meters (12.63), the 200 (25.70) and 400 (56.55). Running away from the entire field in the 800 meters, Germantown Friends’ Sarah Walker lowered her PR by 1/10 second, with her winning time of 2:08.45 ranking her first in the state and seventh in the nation this spring.
Broadwater also placed first in her fourth event of the day, the 100 meter high hurdles (15.27). The Blue Devils were the defending champions at the meet, but this year they were a close runner-up, with a total of 90 team points. With a 104-point performance, Episcopal Academy added the Indy meet crown to the Inter-Ac League championship it had won four days earlier.
SCH had come in one place behind runner-up Germantown Academy at the Inter-Ac gathering, but last Wednesday in Pottstown the Patriots slipped into a tight battle for third place, scoring 48 points to finish fourth in between meet host Hill (49 points) and another member of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League, fifth-place Mercersburg Academy (47). Strong distance runners from non-Inter-Ac schools took away points that GA had been able to capture at the league championships.
Germantown Friends, meanwhile, was not peaking for this meet, but rather for its own Friends Schools League championships that still lay ahead.
Tigers coach Rob Hewitt made an exception for Walker; he planned to use her as a multi-event workhorse at the FSL’s, so at the Indy champs he turned her loose in her best event, the 800.
The GFS squad came in sixth in the field of 16 on Wednesday, with 40.33 points, and Penn Charter placed 13th, with 18 points. Almost all of the Quakers points came out of the jump pit, where junior Carolyn Brady won the triple jump (33’10”) and senior Hailey Bennett took third in the long jump.
As at the Inter-Ac meet, Springside Chestnut Hill had three athletes do the bulk of its scoring. In addition to Broadwater’s exploits, the Blue Devils had 10th-grader Julia Reeves win the long jump (16’0.5”) and finish second in three other events. She was just a few steps behind Broadwater in both the 100 and 200 dash finals, and was four inches shy of the long jump mark turned in by PC’s Brady.
This gave Reeves a total of 34 points on her own (more than nine of the teams at the meet), and the Blue Devils picked up another seven points from junior Jamie Costarino, who was fourth in the 3200 and fifth in the 1600. Six points were added through a third-place showing in the 4 x 100 relay, with a line-up of sophomore Essence Walden, junior Bridget Lipp, and sophomores Calder McNeil and Singley Risico.
The GA squad got its usual lift in the high jump from Megan McCloskey, a senior headed for Penn State. She won with a leap of 5’6” after entering the competition when the bar reached 5’4”, the height at which the runner-up failed out. Before and after that event, McCloskey was playing over at the sand box, taking second place in the long jump and third in the triple.
In each event, she was within an inch or less of the girl who placed just ahead of her, and when all was said and done, she had accounted for half of GA’s team point total. Building on the solid foundation established by McCloskey, fellow senior Kerry Lawlor and freshman Abbe Goldstein finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 1600 to bring in another 10 points.
Indy Schools cross country champion Jerrica Bauer of George School won comfortably in the 3200, while GA sophomore Paige Kupsky, also running pretty much alone for the last few laps of the race, netted second for the Patriots. One of Kupsky’s classmates, Tesa Pribitkin, collected fourth-place points in the pole vault.
For Germantown Friends, Walker’s win in the 800 was complemented by Sarah Alden’s eight-point contribution; the senior landed in third place in the high jump and sixth in the 300 hurdles. Another 12th-grader, Emma Clark, was fourth in that hurdles final, while a third GFS senior, Claudia Detre, extracted a total of five team points from the javelin (fifth place) and the pole vault (sixth).
In the sprints, fourth place points came to the Tigers in the 200 meter dash, thanks to junior Taryn Milbourne.